The CW's The Flash is an innovative comic book adaptation because it manages to mix the goofy charm of Grant Gustin's masked hero and the serious danger brought by its collection of villains. In the original comics, hero Barry Allen was more of a straight man to his eccentric villains. But with the addition of Lisa Snart, a Flash villain from DC Comics, we'll see just how well the series' writers can adapt a bad guy who originated as silly, went through a dozen changes over her comic book history, and ultimately turn her into an entertaining bad guy.
In the comics, Lisa Snart is the younger sister of Captain Cold Leonard Snart, just like on the show, and also follows in his footsteps by becoming a bad guy. She takes on the alias of "the Golden Glider," and gets the name from her career as a professional figure skater, where she was trained by Flash baddie The Top to do superhumanly fast spins. Just imagine that Tonya Harding dated a supervillain and then became one. Oh, pretty much the best thing ever? Yeah.
Snart uses those skating fundamentals in combination with her superpowered speed to "glide" on either air or ice created by her skates, depending on the writer's preference. So it basically looks like she's skating everywhere, and literally wears skates as a part of her costume, but is able to hover just off the ground and "glide" like she's skating. It's... pretty silly, in that classic comic book way. Since then, in the various DC Crises and reboots, Lisa has been killed, given a brain tumor, brought back to life, suffered her brother's death, and become the Flash's love interest, all in different continuities. And as time has passed, her powers have shifted from figure skating-based to the ability to leave her physical body and move her consciousness at high speeds.
But something tells me that we won't be seeing Lisa figure skating on air, even though her classic costume was awesome and they're totally missing out by putting her in combat boots and a leather jacket. The Flash has redone some sillier villains as more serious and contemporary threats, mostly by making them wear generic combat boots and leather jackets (*sigh*). And the synopsis of the episode credits that this version of Snart will be a little darker, and will be joining the show because she's intent on joining her brother's criminal gang. Lisa has always been tough, but it seems like she'll bring a more modern version of kickass to the screen.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller, who play Captain Cold and Heat Wave, also imply that the character will have a romantic relationship with Purcell's character. Or, at least some kind of sexual flirtation — that's even cited as one of her "powers" in the official CW description of the character. While Snart actress Peyton List sure is charming (come on, she's Jane Sterling!), I'm more interested to see how they're planning to adapt her traditional "gliding" power.
While Barry has already had to go up against Reverse-Flash, another bad guy who can move fast enough that Barry's powers aren't enough on their own to stop her could be interesting. Lisa Snart might be just enough to convince team Flash that Captain Cold and Heatwave are truly unstoppable... until, of course, they stop them. The Flash is based on comic books, after all, and no matter how dark they get, the bad guys never really win.
Images: Dean Buscher/The CW; DC Comics